Chip Ganassi Racing Indianapolis 500 Advance Notes

Story posted - May 12 2013 3:55 PM

Target Chip Ganassi Racing Indianapolis 500 Advance Notes

RACE SETUP

Race: Indianapolis 500 Sunday, May 26
Drivers: @scottdixon9 @dariofranchitti
Cars: No. 9 Target and No. 10 Target Hondas
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
TV: ABC Network (12:00 PM ET)
Social: @TCGRTeams #TeamTarget
Location: Speedway, Indiana

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Off to a Great Start: TCGR has visited Indianapolis Motor Speedway 19 times, making 39 starts with 19 different drivers. Three times, TCGR drivers have started from the pole (1993: Arie Luyendyk; 2002: Bruno Junqueira; 2008: Dixon) and 10 times from the front row.

At the Brickyard: In 39 starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, TCGR drivers have amassed four wins (2000: Montoya; 2008: Dixon; 2010: Franchitti; 2012: Franchitti), three poles, 15 top-fives and 25 top-10s.

Running in Circles: Since 1990, Indy cars have visited oval tracks 220 times. TCGR has accumulated 45 victories, 45 poles, 164 top-fives and 263 top-10s on ovals. Out of a possible 85,365 laps for all Team Target starts on ovals, TCGR drivers have completed 76,086 laps (89.1%).

Ganassi's IMS Glory: Ganassi's history at IMS over the years includes five wins as a team owner in the Indianapolis 500 (1989, 2000, 2008, 2010, 2012) in addition to winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400. Ganassi was also the fastest rookie qualifier in the 1983 Indianapolis 500 en route to his career-best eighth-place finish.

Recapping Victory: In 2000, Montoya started second and led 167 laps on his way to TCGR's first Indianapolis 500 win. In 2008, Dixon started from the pole and led 115 laps en route to victory. In 2010, Franchitti started third and led 155 laps on the way to winning his second Indianapolis 500, and in 2012 started 16th and led 23 laps to win his third Indianapolis 500.

All-Time Wins for Dario: This is the first year since 1987 in which two drivers with three victories will try and join one of the most exclusive clubs in the worldwide motorsports -four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500. Franchitti (2007, 2010, 2012) and Helio Castroneves are attempting to become just the fourth four-time winners of the race, joining A.J. Foyt (1961, 1964, 1967, 1977), Al Unser (1970, 1971, 1978, 1987) and Rick Mears (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991).

99 Wins and Counting...: The Target Racing Program, which began with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing in 1990, is just one win shy of the 100-win plateau. The first win for the program came in 1994 with Michael's Andretti's Indy car victory at Surfers Paradise, Australia, when the team was merely a two-car open wheel program. Ninety-eight wins later, the program's umbrella not only includes involvement in the IZOD IndyCar Series, but in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The partnership between Target and Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the longest consecutive team partnerships in motor racing history.

#TEAMGANASSI

Follow Team Target on Twitter: Continue to follow Target Chip Ganassi Racing on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.9 and No.10 teams throughout the 2013 season by following "@TCGRTeams".

CGRT Mobile App: Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content. Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR THE INDIANPOLIS 500

Scott Dixon and No. 9 Target Team

Last Time at Indianapolis: Dixon rolled off 15th in his 10th Indianapolis 500 start. When the first caution flag waved on lap 14, the No. 9 had jumped to 11th. On a lap 19 restart, Dixon advanced up to seventh and continued his march to the front of the field, taking the lead on lap 75. Dixon and Franchitti would swap the lead back and forth for the rest of the race, with Dixon finally coming to the line in second.

Brazil Race Rewind: Dixon started the race in sixth and by lap 15 had passed the No. 5 car for fifth place. On lap 21, the No. 9 car pit for the first time and returned to the course in 11th. By lap 39 he had worked his way up to fourth place after surviving four caution periods. The team pit again on laps 50 and 54, but dealt with a waste gate issue which prevented them from advancing in the end, leaving Brazil with an 18th-place result.

Career at Indianapolis: In 10 career starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dixon has one win, one pole and has led 356 laps. He has completed 1,850 of the 1,946 laps run at IMS (94.5%). The driver of the No. 9 car has an average start of 6.7 and an average finish of 7.6. Dixon's best start and finish came in 2008 when he started and finished first.

Recent IMS Runs: In his last seven starts in the Indianapolis 500, Dixon has finished no worse than sixth.

Oval Success: In 122 starts on oval tracks, Dixon has 17 wins, 15 poles and has led 3,382 laps.

In the History Books: Dixon currently ranks 13th on the list of all-time Indianapolis 500 lap-leaders with 356 laps led at IMS.

The One and Only: Dixon is the only driver from New Zealand to ever have won the Indianapolis 500.

Engine, Engine, Number Nine: With a second win in the Indianapolis 500, the No. 9 car will have won for a fifth time. Sam Hanks (1957), Rick Mears (1979), Juan Pablo Montoya (2000) and Dixon (2008) have all won with the No. 9.

Twice Would be Nice: With his second win at IMS, Dixon would tie Tommy Milton, Bill Vukovich, Rodger Ward, Gordon Johncock, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser, Jr., Luyendyk and Dan Wheldon with two victories in the "world's most famous race."

In the Points: With the results in Sao Paulo, Dixon dropped from third to fifth in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 101 points, -35 points behind leader Takuma Sato.

The Ice Man Returns: The two-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion (2003, 2008) and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner returns in 2013 for his fifth season alongside four-time Champion (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner (2007, 2010, 2012) Franchitti. Dixon is tied with Rick Mears for 10th place on the all-time Indy car wins list (1909-Present) with 29 victories and is tied with Bobby Rahal and Rex Mays for 16th on the all-time poles list with 18.

Go With What you Know: 2013 marks Dixon's 12th year with Team Target - the longest tenure for any driver in team history (1990-Present).

Dario Franchitti and No. 10 Target Team

Career at Indianapolis: In nine career starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Franchitti has three wins and has led 329 laps. He has completed 1,743 out of 1746 laps (99.8%). He has an average start and finish position of 9.8 and 7.6, respectively. His best start is third, four times (2004, 2007, 2009, 2010) and he has won three times (2007, 2010, 2012)

Oval Office: Franchitti has participated in 131 oval races, earning 16 victories, 14 poles and leading 3,383 laps.

On the Verge of History: Franchitti currently ranks 15th in the number of laps led in the Indianapolis 500. In nine starts, he has led 329 laps. If he leads four laps, he will surpass Louis Meyer for 14th on the list.

The Scotsman: There are only two drivers from Scotland that have ever won the Indianapolis 500: Jimmy Clark from Kilmany won the Indianapolis 500 in 1965 and Franchitti, from Edinburgh, won in 2007, 2010 and 2012.

Last Time at Indianapolis: Franchitti lined up 16th on the grid for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. By the first caution on lap 14, Franchitti worked his way up to 13th. As he came down pit road for his first pit stop, his No. 50 car was spun by another competitor and Franchitti was knocked into the pit-wall, requiring the crew to replace the front nose. He would return to the track 28th. Franchitti continued to make his move to the front, running in the top-three for the remainder of the race, with the No. 50 and No. 9 swapping the lead amongst one another. Franchitti would take the lead for the final time on lap 198 to earn his third victory in the Indianapolis 500.

Brazil Race Rewind: Franchitti started the race in third after qualifying the No. 10 on the 2.536-mile street course. In turn 1 of lap 1, Franchitti passed the No. 5 car for second and held his ground in the top three through the first 20 laps. On lap 21 the team pit with the leaders under caution from third and rejoined the race in 14th. On the second stint Franchitti fought his way back up to second before his second stop on lap 52 when he pit under a full course caution. The team rejoined the race in 11th and worked their way back to seventh, where they would ultimately finish.

Dario Returns: Four-time IZOD IndyCar Series Champion (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner, Franchitti, returns to TCGR in 2013 for his fifth season alongside two-time Champion and 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner, Dixon. Franchitti is tied for seventh on the all-time wins list with 31 and holds sole possession of eighth on the all-time poles list with 30.

In the Points: With the results in Sao Paulo, Franchitti moved to 15th in the IZOD IndyCar point standings with 70 points, -66 points behind leader, Takuma Sato.

Rarified Air: Dario is one of only five drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 and the series title in the same season more than once. By winning the 2012 Indianapolis 500, he became just the 10th driver in history to win the race three times.

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Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Indianapolis 500 Advance Notes

RACE SETUP

Race: Indianapolis 500 Sunday, May 26
Driver: Charlie Kimball @racewithinsulin
Cars: No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
TV: ABC Network (12:00 PM ET)
Social: @CGRTeams #TeamGanassi
Location: Speedway, Indiana

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT

Ganassi's IMS Glory: Ganassi's history at IMS over the years includes five wins as a team owner in the Indianapolis 500 (1989, 2000, 2008, 2010, 2012) in addition to winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400. Ganassi was also the fastest rookie qualifier in the 1983 Indianapolis 500 en route to his career-best eighth-place finish.

Leading Lap: The 2012 Indianapolis 500 had 10 different lap leaders, tying the 1980, 1995, 1998 and 2011 races for second-highest number of lap leaders along with a record 34 lead changes. Kimball and the No. 83 team made their mark in last year's race in leading their first career laps for a total of three laps on the 2.5-mile oval. Kimball has already tied his laps led tally from 2012 this season, in leading three laps at Barber Motorsports Park.

Track Facts: Brad Goldberg, engineer of the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda, sheds some light on what makes Indianapolis Motor Speedway unique to an IZOD IndyCar Series team... "The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a vision of Carl Fisher's in 1905. A place that was born for design, innovation, and craftsmanship which still is true today. A place that not only is iconic, but also legendary. A place so big you can fit the entire Vatican City, The Rose Bowl, Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, The Roman Coliseum, and Wimbledon Campus combined inside the track. For an engineer, it's the scariest, most rewarding, and most exciting event we do. The track seems so simple because it's just four corners, two short straights, and two long straights. Yet, when you talk to anyone that has ever been to Indianapolis, it's not. The four corners, even though they look the same by eye, are all very distinctly different; every driver will tell you that. In qualifying, pay attention to one critical element that costs very little, but can mean the difference between making it around the corner or not. That element - the windsock on top of the scoring tower! Look carefully as the driver comes down the front straight, you will catch a glimpse of him just peeking to see which direction the sock is blowing. He will make a small correction of how he approaches each corner based on that little sock. He will do this every lap he is on the race track. When traveling at 230 mph, a little gust of wind is sometimes all it takes to lose control. Turn one is arguably the hardest on the track, as a driver comes off turn four on to the front stretch. The front stretch is lined with very tall grandstands on both sides of the track, giving you tunnel vision the length of the straight. Meanwhile, at the end of the straight, you are staring at a concrete wall that is rapidly approaching. At the end of the straight, you have to turn left at 230 mph, and hope the car does not lose control. Each corner you pull close to 4G's. During the 500 mile race a 150 lb driver will feel like 600 lbs - 800 times. Qualifying day at Indianapolis is extremely stressful for an IZOD IndyCar Series engineer, the car for outright speed has to be low drag / low downforce and setup to not slow down. In order to do this, there is a thin red line of what will make it around the corner and what will not. "Trust" is the common theme on pole day. A driver has to trust the engineer is making the right decision, a decision that will not cause him to lose control and crash, a decision that can go wrong so fast, but a decision when right is one of the greatest feelings in the world - a true sense of accomplishment! Indianapolis is not about track facts, or race cars. Indianapolis is about a team coming together for one common goal, for one common bond, for one common theme. Indianapolis is about glory!"

A Change of Scenery: For the second time this season the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing entry will carry NovoLog FlexPen branding. Kimball had previously run the NovoLog FlexPen scheme in Round 1, followed by the Race With Insulin scheme in Round 2 and 3 and a Novo Nordisk scheme in Round 4 at Sao Paulo, Brazil. The return to the distinctive orange and blue livery will be in place for the Indianapolis 500 and each race of the season, until the Honda Indy Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, July 13th.

#TEAMGANASSI

Follow Team Novo Nordisk on Twitter: Continue to follow Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.83 crew throughout the 2013 season by following "@CGRTeams".

CGRT Mobile App: Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content. Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

@racewithinsulin: "Up in South Bend, IN visiting a few local hospitals with some friends from @novonordiskus! Talking about the month of May and the #indy500!"

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR THE INDIANAPOLIS 500

Charlie Kimball and No. 83 Novo Nordisk Team

Kimball Cares: After racing in the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 on the Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Kimball again used his off-week to help the local community by visiting a Lutheran Children's Hospital to inspire kids living with diabetes in Fort Wayne, Ind. In his visit, Charlie spoke to students about living with diabetes, the month of May and racing in the Indianapolis 500 and how he began his racing career. Since the start of the 2013 season, Kimball has already visited nine different youth-based events to give back to the community.

Indianapolis History: In his rookie season of 2011, Kimball made history as the first licensed driver living with diabetes to race in the Indianapolis 500. Kimball started his first 500-mile race from 28th and would cross the finish line in 13th-place as the second-highest finishing rookie. This will be his third start in the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and his 36th IZOD IndyCar Series career start.

Oval Stats: Kimball has 12 starts at oval tracks in his IZOD IndyCar career. In those 12 starts he has accumulated three top-10s, seven top-15 finishes and led three laps.

A Perfect 10: Kimball has top-10 finishes in two of the four IZOD IndyCar Series races this season, which ties his tally of two top-10 results at this point of the season in 2012.

Penny for your Thoughts: Ever wonder what Charlie and his team were up to during a typical race weekend? Check out Charlie's live blog at www.CharlieKimball.com for race weekend schedules, post-practice thoughts, race day preparations, and behind-the-scenes photos.

Last Time at the Indianapolis 500: Kimball matched his then career-best finish of eighth in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 and also his best finish on an oval. The finish came in his 22nd career IZOD IndyCar Series start and second at the Indianapolis 500. Kimball led his first career laps on the 2.5-mile oval for a total of three laps. Kimball held a top-five position for 23 laps. With only six laps to go, Kimball would advance three positions from 11th where he would hold his final position of eighth. In his two starts at the Indianapolis 500, Kimball has a 21.0 average start with a 10.5 average finish.

Race Rewind: Kimball finished 10th in Round 4 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 on the Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi team ran an aggressive race, starting from 17th position and withstood incidents that caused a total of seven caution periods, totaling 19 laps, over the 75-lap race. The team would make its impact through quick pit stops, making its first stop for fresh alternate tires and a splash of fuel on lap six. During the third caution period, Kimball would run as high as fourth position as cars began to cycle through. Over the course of seven caution periods, Kimball would take advantage of strong restarts on the 2.536-mile 11-turn street circuit. Running in sixth position on lap 32, Kimball showed strength and passed the No. 11 to nab fifth. Kimball held 10th position with eight laps remaining, where he would eventually cross the finish line to score his second top-10 of the season (fourth, Barber Motorsports Park in Round 2).

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NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Indianapolis 500 Advance Notes

RACE SETUP

Race: Indianapolis 500 Sunday, May 26
Driver: Ryan Briscoe @Ryan_Briscoe
Cars: No. 8 NTT DATA Honda
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
TV: ABC (12:00 PM ET)
Social: @CGRTeams #TeamGanassi
Location: Speedway, Indiana

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT

Ganassi's IMS Glory: Ganassi's history at IMS over the years includes five wins as a team owner in the Indianapolis 500 (1989, 2000, 2008, 2010, 2012) in addition to winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400. Ganassi was also the fastest rookie qualifier in the 1983 Indianapolis 500 en route to his career-best eighth-place finish.

Top-10 Team: All four drivers (Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Ryan Briscoe) in Chip Ganassi Racing Team's (CGRT) 2013 Indianapolis 500 lineup finished the 2012 race in the top-10. Franchitti took first, while Dixon finished second. Briscoe finished fifth and Kimball crossed the line eighth.

Leading Lap: The 2012 Indianapolis 500 had 10 different lap leaders, tying the 1980, 1995, 1998 and 2011 races for second-highest number of lap leaders along with a record 34 lead changes. Briscoe made his mark in last year's race in claiming the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500's pole award, leading 15 laps and finishing fifth on the 2.5-mile oval.

Four Indy Cars, One Team: Four-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 Winners CGRT announced in early April an agreement with former Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Ryan Briscoe to pilot a fourth Honda entry with sponsorship from NTT DATA, a leading global IT services provider, as well as new sponsorships with VIZIO and Hulu, for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Briscoe will return to CGRT in the No. 8 NTT DATA Honda alongside three-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti (No. 10 Target Honda), 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Honda) and Charlie Kimball (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda).

#TEAMGANASSI

Follow Team NTT DATA on Twitter: Continue to follow NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No. 8 crew throughout the 2013 season by following "@CGRTeams".

CGRT Mobile App: Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content. Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

@Ryan_Briscoe: "I don't have pictures of my IndyCar yet, but this is pretty cool!! pic.twitter.com/kBuXo0Ew4q"

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR THE INDIANAPOLIS 500

Ryan Briscoe and No. 8 NTT DATA Team

One-Two Punch: With the addition of Briscoe to the 2012 Chip Ganassi Racing Teams lineup, CGRT will be fielding entries for both the defending Indianapolis 500 polesitter and racewinner (Franchitti) for the month of May.

Jack of All Trades: Few current drivers can claim to have the pedigree of Briscoe behind the wheel. He has experience driving Australian V8 Supercars, GRAND-AM Daytona Prototypes, Le Mans sports car prototypes, champ cars, stock cars, and A1GP and Formula One open wheel cars. Briscoe is contesting the full American Le Mans Series season as a P2 driver with Level 5 Motorsports. He will compete in the American Le Mans Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday, May 11, before heading to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Indianapolis 500 practices on Sunday, May 12.

IMS Stats: Briscoe has seven starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his IZOD IndyCar career. In those seven starts he has accumulated two top-fives, three top-10s, four top-15 finishes and led 31 laps.

Welcome Back: Briscoe started his Indy car racing career with Target Chip Ganassi Racing in 2005 when the team was a three-car effort comprised of Dixon and Darren Manning. He competed in 14 rounds in the No. 33 Target car, had a team-best finish of 10th at the Indianapolis 500 and won his first Indy car pole position at Sonoma Raceway before a season-ending accident at Chicagoland Speedway. Briscoe will reunite with former teammate Dixon at CGRT this May. The two were teammates during the 2005 IZOD IndyCar Series season, both driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

Oval History: Briscoe has participated in 36 oval races, earning three victories, three poles and leading 669 laps.

History of car No. 8 at Indianapolis: Number of Indianapolis 500 wins by car No. 8 - three (1912-Joe Dawson, 1936-Louis Meyer and 1956-Pat Flaherty). Last win by car No. 8 - Pat Flaherty, 1956 (started on pole). Number of poles by car No. 8 - five (1929-Cliff Woodbury, 1932-Lou Moore, 1956-Pat Flaherty, 1977-Tom Sneva and 2001-Scott Sharp). Last car No. 8 in Indianapolis 500 starting field - Rubens Barrichello (2012).

Last Time at the Indianapolis 500: In the 2012 Indianapolis 500, Briscoe started from the pole position and fought to come back from mid-race issues. He would charge back into the battle among the race leaders during the closing stage and led 15 total laps before claiming fifth position.

 
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